Memli KELMENDI (Composer, Conductor) was born in 1986 in Peja, Kosovo.
He completed his post-graduate studies for conducting (vocal and instrumental) in Pristina and Composition – Music Production – Sound Engineering in North Macedonia. He is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in choral conducting in Sh. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje. His most famous compositions are Agnus Dei, Ater Umbra, Silentium Est Pax, Pax, Renuo, Dies Lunae, etc. His composition for the mixed choir “Ater Umbra” (2017) has been published in France by Choir “EVOC Ensemble” and is already part of the CD from the label “Les Choristes Aux Milles Couleurs.” The composition “Silentium Est Pax” for the vocal ensemble was performed and recorded in the “Sottovoce Ensemble” CD at Les Musicales de Redon, France.
Memli Kelmendi is also known as a film composer. He has composed feature films, short films, theater, documentaries, etc. He wrote the music and designed the sound of Samir Karahoda’s film ‘In Between,’ which Kosovo showed for the first time at the ‘Berlinale Film Festival 2019. Also, in Samir Karahoda’s film “Displaced,” which was selected among ten short films to compete for the “Palme d’Or” at the prestigious “Festival de Cannes,” etc., he composed the music and designed the sound of the film. He completed the three-year training for Composition, Music Theory, and Piano Tuning for Blind Children at the “Jana Deyla” Conservatory – Prague. He currently works as a professor at the “Halit Kasapolli” High School of Music in Peja and the AAB University in Pristina as a lecturer of film and theater music, orchestration, and choral conducting. He is the permanent conductor of the most popular Choir in Kosovo, “Siparantum Choir.” Before the Siparantum Choir, he founded and, for a short time, was the conductor of the “PEJA” City Choir.
He has conducted in some of the leading musical countries, such as; Berlin Philharmonie; Basilica di San Marco, Venice; Queen Elisabeth Hall, Antwerp; Hrvatski Glazbeni Zavod, Croatia; Ljubljana Cathedral, Slovenia, etc.
Many participating countries performed his mixed choral composition “With a flower – With a flower,” commissioned by Neerpelt – European Youth Music Festival. In Neerpelt – European Music Festival for Young People, he led a Workshop related to this composition and presented Choral Music of Kosovo. Finally, at the Homelands festival, he lectured on his music “Ater Umbra” and conducted this composition, which over 150 singers sang at the Berlin Philharmonie (2023).
As a composer and conductor, he has performed in many countries of the world, such as Charleston, New Jersey, New York, Los Angeles, California, Florida, Chicago, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Romania, Philippines, Chile, Argentina, UK – London, France, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Bosnia, Turkey, Belgium, North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, etc.
In 2021, he conducted a concert with the Kosovo Philharmonic Choir, which was highly appreciated by the music community in Kosovo. Finally (February 2022), he held a concert with the Siparantum Choir at the prestigious Berlin Philharmonie.
Memli Kelmendi is a World Choir Council – INTERKULTUR member representing Kosovo for the first time. Recently he was entrusted with the National Ambassador of Kosovo function in the INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF CHORAL CONDUCTORS (ICCF).
- Scholarship for Conductor (Award given by INTERKULTUR) at the 6th International Conductor’s Seminar Wernigerode, 2019
- The Ministry of Culture gave the prize for solo, and the duo worked in 2020
- “Gold Plate” at the International Choir Festival “Golden Lime of Tuhel,” Croatia, 2021
- Winner of the “Musica Contemporanea” Category – World Choir Games, 2021
- Gold Diploma, Musica Contemporanea – Open Competition, World Choir Games, 2021
- Conductor of successes (Personalities of 2021), KOHA, 2021
- Career Award – “Culture of Peja over the years,” Municipality of Peja, 2022
- First prize with the Siparantum Choir in Category F, “Pennant Category,” at the European Music Festival for Young People, Belgium
- First prize with the Siparantum Choir in Category G at the European Music Festival for Young People, Belgium
- Winner of category A1 – Choirs of Mixed Voices – Difficulty Level I and Golden Diploma., Lisbon Sings 2022
- Silver Diploma, Category S – Sacred Choral Music, Lisbon Sings 2022